What if we told you there was a noninvasive way to exfoliate skin, expel toxins, and reduce cellulite all at the same time? No, it’s not a miracle treatment. It’s called dry brushing. The practice of dry brushing involves brushing the skin with a firm bristle brush in circular motions and, when done regularly, exfoliates and improves skin quality while also aiding the lymphatic and circulatory systems. With so many perks, why aren’t we all doing it regularly?
Turns out many cultures throughout history caught onto the advantages of dry brushing, including the ancient Greeks (the ancient physician Hippocrates was said to be a fan), the Japanese, and Native American peoples.
Basically, dry brushing is a detoxifying activity, so it’s more than just your run-of-the-mill exfoliator (although, it will also give you baby-soft skin). The practice jump starts your lymphatic system, a part of your immune system that rids the body of waste and transports disease-fighting white blood cells through your body, and speeds up the removal of toxins from your body. Similarly, dry brushing helps to break down the toxins in your fat cells that cause cellulite, as well as clear out pores so that dirt and waste can’t get trapped. Finally, it improves blood flow and stimulates your skin’s production of its natural oils, called sebum.
So where do I get a dry brush?
To boot, a dry brush will make a pretty small dent in your wallet, and can be found pretty much anywhere. A long-handled style runs as low as $2.50 (like this one) and can help you get those tricky spots on your backside. You can also opt for a short-handled or no-handle version for better control — we like this one with its fancy “massage nodules” for $20. They even make glove-like options, like this $20 mit from Supracor.
How do I do it?
The best time to dry brush is in the morning, because the activity stimulates and energizes the body, and you’ll want to take advantage of that throughout the day. Start at your feet and move the brush up your body using long, circular strokes. The key is to always brush toward your heart.
Make sure to go over each patch of skin thoroughly, and don’t be afraid to overlap. If you’ve reached a part of your body (like your breasts) that are sensitive, proceed gently! Be wary of pressing too hard and hurting yourself. The sensation can be scratchy at first, but if you keep at it, you’ll become desensitized to it. The whole process should take about three to five minutes to brush over your whole body.
When you’re done, hop in the shower to rinse off the dead skin cells, and then moisturize with oil, such as coconut or rose hip to replenish moisture to the skin.
Sounds easy, right? Just remember, the benefits don’t come without commitment. Daily dry brushing is recommended, but doing it twice a day can help speed up results. As a newbie, you should experience smoother skin after just one session and start to see full-effects within a month. Just remember to wash your brush every week with soap and water to prevent buildup of skin cells.